This morning I met a friend in DC and ran a 5.5 miler along the National Mall…
Location: The National Mall in DC is the centerpiece to the city. On one end, you have the United States Capitol Building, on the other end are many of the National Monuments. Smack dab in the middle is the Washington Monument and directly north of it is the White House. On the Capital side, you’ve got the Smithsonian Museums and art galleries. On the monument side, it’s fairly wooded, with winding paths to the various monuments. Just west of the National Mall is Arlington Cemetery, another great place to experience if you haven’t before. If you’re not familiar with the Mall, or have never been, it’s quite an impressive thing to see.
The Mall is a favorite spot for many runners. Every time I’ve been down there, I’ve seen a multitude of runners of all sorts. Not only is the atmosphere great, but it’s, for the most part, a flat area with paths everywhere. I could write a ton about everything to see here, but I’ll keep it simple and just state that if you’ve never been here before, take the opportunity to visit. I highly recommend a tour around the Mall with visits to the Natural History, American History, American Indian, and Air and Space museums.
Route: I met my friend on the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, the Northwest corner of the Washington Monument section. We headed west, looping around the Lincoln Monument and down the center paths with a sideline to the Korean Monument. Close by the Washington Monument we came across a gathering for the kick-off of a 5K Walk4Hearing put on by the Hearing Loss Association of America. They were just about to get started, and we sidestepped it around to avoid getting in their way.
We continued down the middle through the museum section and made a loop around the front of the Capitol building. As much time as I’ve spent on the Mall for my previous job and many leisure visits, I’ve not really gone up to the base of Capitol Building, so we went as far up as possible. Lastly, we made a B-line straight through the center and back around to where we started making it a nearly 5.5 mile loop.
The Experience: The run was nice and relaxed, at least for me. The plan was to do a 1:30/1:00 run/walk ratio. My running partner has recently gotten back into running and was suffering some shin pain throughout the run. We took a fair amount of extra walking breaks to help him out. For me, it made a great opportunity to snap some photos.
The weather was nice. It started a bit cold, but once we got into it, the temperature was perfect. It was moderately crowded, but we didn’t have to fight our way through anywhere. The only exception was the 5K walk crowd. All in all, a great day for a run at our nation’s capital.
After the run, we fought DC traffic to grab an early lunch at a nice Portuguese restaurant called Nando’s Peri Peri, for yummy flame-grilled chicken. Then it was the long fight with traffic back home.
The full picture album can be found here. And now for some highlights.